Here's the weekly update- as much for my benefit as just reporting in.
1. Plant something- no. I had really hoped for some fall crops but I think I'm going to let it go this year. There is just too much going on in my life right now.
2. Harvest something- Tomatoes, beans, sweet corn, peppers, potatoes, a few wild plums, still a bit of chard and our first apple off the tree!
3. Preserve something- Tomato sauce (10 quarts, 4 pints) and salsa (4 pints). I hope to pick some peppers to freeze tomorrow night but that will be for next week's list.
4. Reduce waste-The usual, recycled, composted and used cloth bags at the store. With tomato production up, I've been adding lots to the compost pile lately.
5. Prep and storage- 10 pounds of rice for storage, 5 extra pounds of flour and found a case of pint jars- not as cheaply as I would have liked but not too bad.
6. Community food systems- Stopped at a farm stand for cucumbers again. Also, with pork prices falling, V and I have been discussing trying to purchase some pork from the farmer we purchased our beef from in January. We currently have room in the freezer- or we have talked about getting a second, smaller freezer for meat. We'll have to see.
Also, loosely related to this category- J15 and her English 10 honors class got into a discussion of sustainable agriculture this afternoon. It seems that the first book they are reading is "Of Mice and Men" and her teacher is evidently quite interested in sustainable agriculture and the 'green' way of life. Her teacher was excited to learn that J15 is learning food preservation/preparation skills. I'm excited because it got J all fired up and she was helping me can sauce this evening- absorbing everything she saw and asking lots of questions. She got to load her first jar into the canner and was then doing this cute little dance, jumping up and down talking about feeling empowered. Wow!
7. Eat the food- This is the easy part this time of year. There are lots of yummy things to be had: corn on the cob, boiled new potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, stuffed chilis... the list goes on.
Ok, I'm back- did you miss me? The last jars are in the canner for the evening. I've still got about 2 quarts of sauce left but I'm not going to heat up enough water to cover just 2 jars. So, it will go into the fridge. I'll reheat it next time- the way things are going, probably Wednesday or Thursday night. Hurrah! We're getting tomatoes this year. Last year we had a disastrous year and I hardly got any tomatoes canned at all. We barely had enough to eat. So I'm hoping to make up for the deficit. We're fortunate that the year before I had canned over 40 quarts of sauce and it lasted for part of this year as well, and my Mom gave me 24 quarts of whole tomatoes last fall. I'm at 15 quarts with the batch that's in the canner now. I'd like to get at least 30 quarts this year, if not more. We'll see how it goes from here out.